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Backcountry Snowboarding Utah's Little Cottonwood Canyon

Backcountry Snowboarding Utah's Little Cottonwood Canyon

Backcountry Snowboarding Utah's Little Cottonwood Canyon

     The Pacific Northwest has been having a great season. Its unforunate that can't be said for the rest of the nation. Disregarding numbers like season snowfall totals and high temperatures, I left the powder paradise of the Cascade mountains and searched out some awesome lines in Utah's Wasatch range.

       On April 3rd I met up with a fellow splitboard.com member, and we climbed and rode Lake Peak (shown in foreground sporting our tracks). The 4 mile skin up the White Pine creek drainage went easy. After skinning up the north face for 500 vertical feet or so, we were soon slipping back downhill and were forced to bootpack up the rocky ridge.

      The ride down was suprisingly good, with 8 inches of blower on top of an edgeable crust. I made a few cautious jump turns, then let it rip down the wide open apron.

The skin track, old spooned ski tracks, and my snowboard track.

      Since the mountains are so close together in the Wasatch, we turned our heads towards the afternoon objective, the tri-chutes. Oh boy was it hot. The snow was glopping to our skins turning efficient progress into a sufferfest. We cached some gear to lighten our load but it was to no avail. After a sweaty, tiring 45 minutes we reached the top of the three chutes. The upper part was smooth creamy corn, then transitioned to dangerous wet-slide conditions, and finally into a sticky soft texture. Either way, it was fun. Here I am grabbing the rail on a bottom turn, just below tri-chutes.


      The second day didn't go as planned. A lost pair of sunglasses prevented me from riding the days objective, Red Baldy Peak. Don't worry Wasatch; I'll be back!


      On day 3 I was motivated. I awoke early, parked the car legally and then hitchhiked to the bottom of Tanner's coulior. Tanner's is a huge south facing chute, that runs for 3,000 vertical feet encased in smooth granite and metamorphic rock. It felt great to be in such a large feature, and reminded me of my glory days living in the Sierra Nevada.



     I made it back to the truck by noon, and didn't have anything else to do, so I decided to climb and schralp another coulior. I drove up Little Cottonwood Canyon a bit and found this aesthetic looking line sitting right across from Alta ski area, which is aptly named "Suicide Chute".


     I got exactly what I wanted from this trip, a combination of snow and sun. Two things I hadn't seen together in a long, long time...


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